My thoughts: The reality of orphan trains depresses me. While I welcomed the chance to learn more about this dark part of U.S. history, I'm grateful Kline interspersed them with Molly's modern scenes. It also helped to know Vivian somehow not only survives but thrives. It would be easy for this story to come across as hokey, but Kline balances hope, the darkness of reality, and pain beautifully.
Admittedly, I was more captivated by Vivian's journey because it was so mysterious. As Vivian becomes a main character in the contemporary part of the story, I was thrilled. I'm fascinated by the wandering paths our lives take, and Vivian's is a majestic one.
The verdict: Orphan Train is an emotional read, and I sobbed through the last twenty pages. Kline makes the orphan train experience come alive through Vivian, and her joint portrayal of Molly's life in foster care is a sobering reality of how close we still are to that dark history.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 304 pages
Publication date: April 2, 2013
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Orphan Train from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)
Want more? Check out all the tour stops, visit Christina Baker Kline's website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
Now tell me: Have you read other novels by Christina Baker Kline? Which one should I read next?
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